Pros 17.07.2022 — 20:49 Uhr

Burkardt: “I’d like to take on more responsibility”

Last season’s top scorer doesn’t just want to develop as a player, but also further define his role within the team

Jonathan Burkardt is ready to continue making progress.

Jonathan Burkardt is about to begin his fifth season as a Mainz 05 first-team player. Last season, the 22-year-old broke out of his role as the youngster and the one challenging to get in the side. Burkardt was FSV’s top scorer in the Bundesliga last season, netting 11 goals. He’s looking to continue making progress both on and off the field. “I’d like to take on more responsibility within the team,” said Germany U21s’ captain, something which also pleases his head coach.

After an extended holiday, Burkardt arrived for pre-season with a clean head and excited for the new season. He said it was “very cool” to be able to “play a little bit of football” for Germany U21s during the off-season during a media round at the team hotel in Grassau.

The striker has made a good start to the first days of team training. “I think I’m well prepared now to play in my first pre-season match tomorrow,” Burkardt commented regarding tomorrow’s friendly against Newcastle United (Monday, 18th July, 16:00 CEST) in Kufstein. He also believes that his link-up play with new signings like Anthony Fulgini or Aymen Barkok should improve by the time the first competitive match of the season rolls around. “It’ll take some time to get used to playing alongside one another, but you can definitely tell what kind of players they are: great on the ball, good technicians,” the Darmstadt-born player showed his optimism that it won’t take too long for the new signings to gel with the current squad.

Burkardt is also making good progress physically, with the 22-year-old wanting to get as much out of his body as possible.

Consolidate and, if possible, go one step further

Burkardt wants to use pre-season to prepare himself for the new season as best as possible. During this period, he’d like to continue making progress on the pitch as well as on a personal level. “We want another solid season and to be far away from the relegation battle,” said Burkardt, who thinks this is very realistic given the squad they have. The 22-year-old would like to make a significant contribution to achieving this goal, and, if possible, do even better than during the last campaign. “It’ll be difficult, because I had a decent year last year, but I’ll give my all to try and get there.” For Burkardt, it’s not solely about goal return, even if he would like to do better in terms of big-chance conversion, for example. “It’s also about personal development and taking on more responsibility within the team.” His leadership role in Germany U21s should also help him to do that. “It’s now my fifth season as a professional footballer, I hope people can see that both on and off the pitch.”

It’s now my fifth season as a professional footballer, I hope people can see that both on and off the pitch. 

Burkardt laying foundations for the upcoming season at the training camp in Grassau.

No longer the rookie

His head coach trusts him to be aware of his responsibilities within the team as he would players like Leandro Barreiro or Anton Stach and also demands this of him at the same time. “That would also be important for him,” explained Bo Svensson, who thinks Burkardt is “also on a good path from a physical perspective.” The attacker is not worried about where this development may take him in the future, with his complete focus on the here and now at FSV. “I’ll try and get the maximum out of myself,” he said confidently. With that, he’s referring to on the pitch as well as in the changing room.